I have the chance to participate in a new book group — two new book groups in fact. One of them is a mystery group, whose illustrious members include Emily and Becky from Musings from the Sofa. I’m not starting off with this group very well, though, as the first meeting is Saturday, and I haven’t yet begun the reading. So I’m considering trying to do my relatively slow version of speed reading over the next two days and seeing what I can accomplish. I don’t want to show up with the book unfinished, but I don’t want to miss the occasion either.
So, we’re reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, which, fortunately, we happened to have on our shelves, or I would have had to run out to the bookstore this evening. I believe Hobgoblin has read the book before, which means that this isn’t a case of my newly-developed habit of collecting unread books actually paying off, although that would be cool if it were the case.
The other book group a friend from work and I are starting; that one meets in two weeks and we’re reading Anne Enright’s The Gathering. I’m looking forward to it, as I’ve heard so many good things about the book.
But all this reading means I don’t have time to stay and chat. I may stay away from the internet a little more than usual over the next couple days …
10 responses to “Book groups”
Oh, I want to join the mystery book club – I would LOVE a book club like that. I am really jealous. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!
Enjoy your reading!
Have a lovely time at your book clubs – how I wish I could be in a reading group with my favourite bloggers (that wasn’t virtual!).
The Glass Key is a fast read. See you on Saturday!
Those both sound like fun book groups! I think I’d love a mystery group, too. It’s nice reading books you might not otherwise and then being able to discuss them (and I always get more out of a book when I discuss it with others). Enjoy your reading and you’ll have to share your book group experiences!
I’m with litlove and would love to have a non-virtual book group once in a while with my favorite bloggers. Book groups can be so wonderful. The one I belong to here is very good about getting me to read book I might not have picked up myself.
I love the idea of bookgroups, but I find them a little stifling in the long run. I hardly ever want to read the book of the month (unless I’ve chosen it) and find it very difficult to keep the schedule as a result. 😦 I’ve ended up reading the whole thing the day before one too many times.
Still, I think I’ve learned a lot from them. The only kind of book group I’d attended before this were university seminars, full of students all thinking down similar tracks and (mostly) engaged with criticism and theory. It was quite a pleasant shock to be introduced to a group of people who thought so completely outside the academic box about their reading. Sometimes I find it frustrating when the level of comment is ‘I liked this; I didn’t like that’, but othertimes I find it genuinely stimulating, particularly when people seem to be relating directly to the text rather than filtering it through a critical lens. 🙂
Sure wish I could be there and can’t wait to hear what everyone thought.
Courtney — I’m sure I’ll post on it after the meeting. I realize how lucky I am to have such an opportunity!
Stefanie — thank you, I have been 🙂
Litlove — yes, it’s wonderful to be able to meet them face to face, and some other very nice non-bloggers too 🙂
Becky — yes, I’m already 120 pages into it. I would read even faster, if it weren’t for the stack of papers I have to grade …
Danielle — yes, I always get so much more out the book too when I can discuss it with others. And I’m sure this group will get me to read things I wouldn’t otherwise — Hammett is a good example.
Verbivore — yes, I love discovering new things because of book groups — it’s an excellent reason to be part of one!
Victoria — I’ve never participated in one for very long — well, I’ve participated in the Slaves of Goldconda group for a year and a half, I suppose. The book groups I’ve been in tend to fall apart pretty quickly; they are fun while they last! And I enjoy talking with non-academics about books too (not that I don’t enjoy talking with the academics, but you know what I mean); so far I’ve enjoyed those conversations a lot, for the very reasons you describe.
Emily — I wish you could be there too! I look forward to your post on the book.
I envy you your book groups. One of the great pleasures of the book blog world for me has been the opportunity to share responses to a single text in groups like the Slaves of Golconda. But I would very much like to engage in some in person book talk with congenial souls over food and drinks. In the online version, I miss the rapid fire response to the response that provokes elaboration, new insights, and sometimes shifts in view. Of course that happens online as well, but it’s a bit more constrained somehow when it’s a slower, more measured process.